Stop shots, and their stun and drag variations, offer a huge advantage to your game—predictability. These shots are more predictable because you control the cue ball to the greatest degree, with little or no movement after contact with the object ball. As you learned earlier in our discussions of center ball, a straight-in stop shot offers the greatest predictability. The cue ball will come to rest at the exact spot where it contacts the object ball.
When executed on a shot that is not straight in, a stop shot is more often referred to as a stun shot. The cue ball will come off at a predictable 90-degree angle from its contact with the object ball (the tangent line) and will travel as far as the energy left on the cue ball will take it. Nearly full-ball hits with slight angles offer more control; thin cuts will send the cue ball a greater distance, because there’s more energy left on the cue ball.
A drag shot is used to send the cue ball a few inches beyond where it contacts the object ball, letting it drift into easy position for your next shot. As opposed to the stop and stun shots, where no forward momentum should be left on the cue ball as it slides into the object ball, a drag shot will leave a bit of forward roll on the cue ball at contact.